I can feel them all. And I can hear them. They are whispering in the back of my mind, silent echoes of the individuals they once were. They were only single voices, small and weak. Chaotic. Now they speak with a united voice, strong and powerful. I invited them into this choir, and I’m its conductor.
I am strong.
I am powerful.
I brought order into their chaos.
I brought perfection.
I brought the Borg.
And I am the Queen.
And now I will bring perfection to these irritating individuals on board Voyager, who dared to enter my nebula with the transwarp hub again. I warned them. But they didn’t listen, so they will have to bear the consequences. They will become valuable drones, their biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile.
“I don’t know how you do it.“
My eyes shoot open. Janeway. The elderly Admiral from the future has invaded my chamber. She stands just a few feet away in front of my private alcove, visibly pleased with my reaction of surprise. She seems to have appeared out of nothing.
“All those voices talking at once… You must get terrible headaches.”
I tilt my head a little to concentrate momentarily on calling my drones to assimilate her, but she interrupts me. Again. This specific individual has the arrogance not to be intimidated by my threats. But I don’t need the drones. I am the Queen. But when I reach forward with my hand to invade her body with my nanoprobes, she doesn’t even flinch. The tubule goes right through her body. Why can this happen?
“I’m not actually here, ‘your Majesty’… I’m in your mind. I’m using a synaptic interface.”
Another peace of technology she brought from the future. But it will only be a short time until this, too, will be added to our perfection.
“If I were you, I wouldn’t waste my time trying to trace the signal. For the moment, it’s beyond your abilities.”
She seems very pleased with her little triumph over the collective. But we are Borg. We will adapt. With a single command to the Unicomplex, my drones start to triangulate her signal. All I have to do is to keep her talking, distract her from the fact that she is wasting precious time. So I ask her what has brought her to me; she wants to make a deal. I should send a cube to Voyager and bring them into the Alpha Quadrant, in return I shall get the specifications against their new weapon from the future, the transphasic torpedos. She tells a story of why she would betray her younger self to help Voyager to get back to earth. I don’t believe her. She is, after all, Kathryn Janeway. And the Borg have learned the hard way that you must not trust this particular individual. But my drones are nearly finished to isolate her frequency, so I will play this charade a while longer. Let her think that she has advantages. Allow her to believe in this little triumph over the collective. She will fail.
“You wish to ensure the well-being of your collective. I can appreciate hat. I’ll help you, but it’ll cost more than you are offering.”
“What do you want?”
Aaah. Now I have woken her interest. Good. Keep her talking until it will be too late. By coming to me, she has sealed her own fate, and that of Voyager’s crew. Just two more minutes, then she will be mine. I will first assimilate her, then her shuttle and after that, I’ll deal with her precious former crew. They won’t ever know what went wrong.
“Your vessel and its database.”
“I told you…I’ll show you how to adapt to their torpedoes…”
She doesn’t want to compromise. She doesn’t want me to assimilate technology she brought to the past, for it would alter the future. She only wants to change the timeline according to her selfish wishes, bring Voyager home sixteen years before its time. How arrogant. But I will get what I want. I am Borg.
30 seconds of individuality left for the dear Admiral.
“You’ve already lied to your younger self. How do I know you’re not lying to me?”
“I guess you’ll just have to trust me.”
“That won’t be necessary. You underestimate me, Admiral…”
She looks worried. Good. I have my triumph. I will enjoy it.
Distraction is no longer needed.
“While we’ve been talking, my drones have triangulated your signal.”
“Computer, deactivate the interface…”
She vanishes, only to appear a few seconds later again in front of me, this time in the flesh. I had her beamed here, right to the place where the existence she knows will end. Now it’s my turn to smile smugly at her. I won. She lost.
I have to give her this approval against my will. A typical Janeway manoeuvre.
“Hiding right on my doorstep. Were you planning to attack us from inside the Unicomplex?”
She doesn’t answer. Doesn’t want to give anything away by talking to me. Of course, she is worried that we don’t have this little deal any more. I got everything I wanted and I will get the ship too.
“Not feeling talkative?”
This time the assimilation tubules hit their target. I can feel the nanoprobes invading her body. Her face is a mask of pain, similar to the moment when I had let my drones assimilate her younger self. But this time there will be no protection against the collective mind of the Borg.
“You and I don’t need words to understand each other.”
I can already feel how her consciousness fades away and melds with the other voices. Her body collapses in shock, she sinks down to the side of the alcove. I can observe how her skin becomes greyer with every second, little implants break trough it. This is my ultimate time of triumph: Kathryn Janeway, my enemy, my nemesis, lies broken to my feet, ready to be transformed into a drone. She will be a great value for the collective, twenty-six years of future knowledge will become ours. Nobody will be able to defeat us, every individual in the galaxy will be assimilated.
Who should be able to stop us?
Resistance is futile.
I will bring order to all planets in all systems, I will control everything.
And then I will truly be the Queen.
*VOYAGER HAS ENTERED APERTURE EIGHT TWO THREE, ACCESS TRANSWARP CORRIDOR ZERO NINE.
REDIRECT VESSELS TO INTERCEPT AT SUBJUNCTION…
ZERO NINE TRANSWARP…
INTERCEPT COMPLY JANEWAY JANEWAY…
UNABLE TO COMPLY…*
The choir of voices becomes unintelligible. What happens here?!
COMPLYING VOYAGER NINE CORRIDOR…*
I feel electric pain course through my body. This can’t be possible! This shouldn’t be happening.
“Must be… something… you assimilated…”
The Admiral? Even while dying she couldn’t stay passive.
“What have you done?”
Again that horrible pain inside my mechanical body…consoles are exploding around us…and I’m loosing voices…they won’t listen to my thoughts any longer…
“I thought we didn’t… need words to…understand each other.”
Now I know. It was her. It is Janeway’s fault that all this happens.
“You’ve infected us with a neurolytic pathogen!”
Poison. She brought poison to the Borg.
“Just enough to bring chaos to order.”
I can see that she is very pleased with herself despite the fact that she will die in the next minutes. I have already integrated her knowledge into my mind, I don’t need her any more. She won’t become a drone. I will personally kill her once I’ve solved this problem. All I have to do is find a way to prevent this from happening by destroying the ship. They’re now in my territory, I have the advantages again.
“Voyager will be destroyed!”
My body won’t follow my orders, my voice becomes sluggish against my will.
“They’re ahead of the shock wave. They’ll survive. Captain Janeway and I made sure of that. It’s you who underestimated us!”
How comes that her voice is getting stronger while mine gets weaker every second? And my body, too. But I have no need for useless extremities. I don’t need a body that’s not perfect. I will get a new one. More consoles explode around us, the whole Unicomplex will be destroyed if I allow this to continue. But I have one last trump to play.
“Sphere six three four. They can still hear my thoughts.”
With a silent command I send the sphere after the federation vessel to destroy it.
“I may have assimilated your pathogen, but I also assimilated your armour technology.”
After my leg refuses to hold the weight of this body any longer I crash to the shaking ground of my chamber. The inferno of destruction will reach us here at any moment. But I have no fear. I am Borg.
“Captain Janeway is about to die. If she has no future… you will never exist… and nothing that you’ve done here today will happen…”
My voice looses its stability. But I refuse to surrender to death.
I am Borg… I am the Queen…